In six matches so far, only once Kings XI Punjab bowlers looked impressive- in their second encounter against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Apart from that one occasion there was no collective pressure from the KXIP bowlers in any match; however, there were one or two impressive spells. But cricket is a team game. In three games, the opponent team batted first and at least it two, Kings XI Punjab conceded around 200 runs- Mumbai Indians (191/4) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (201/6). In three matches KL Rahul’s team, batting first set targets like 207 (Royal Challenegrs Bangalore), 224 (Rajasthan Royals), and Chennai Super Kings (179). But in last two occasions chasing teams won the respective games. One Mohammed Shami or one Ravi Bishnoi could give couple of breakthroughs, but their partners need to maintain the pressure. Murugan Ashwin and Harpreet brar did not bowl too badly to get dropped and it shows lack of clarity un their team selection.
KL Rahul might lead the batting chart of IPL 2020 at the moment. But the way his side has batted so far, the crack in the middle-order is quite evident. Karun Nair has failed to make any impact- 16 runs from four matches, but he is a an important middle-order batter of the side. Nicholas Pooran has finally started to come out and let’s just hope he is able to maintain this consistency if KXIP want to do well in the league further. They are constantly experimenting to get the right combination, which is why Sarfaraz Khan and James Neesham, were included to the side before getting dropped. Now Mandeep Singh and Prabhsimran Singh are being tested, and must deliver. Kings XI Punjab are depending too much on KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Failure from the openers means there is rare chance of Kings XI doing. This pressure along with the responsibility of new captaincy have started showing impact on KL Rahul’s strike rate.
Time for Gayle
Glenn Maxwell came to Indian Premier League after a smooth Australia-England series. He looked in shape, scored a fantastic century, and was all set for some fireworks in the cash-rich T20 league. But it has been six Kings XI Punjab games, there is hardly any glimpse of Glenn Maxwell. In six games, thus far Maxwell has added juts 48 runs with the highest being 13* at an average of 12 and strike rate of 85.71. As already mentioned above, KXIP are already dealing with a gap in middle order with Pooran failing at the initial stage. So, a lot depends on the experienced Maxwell when it comes to the stability of middle-order. Hence, there is no sign of Maxwell’s blast Kings XI Punjab might opt in for Chris Gayle. The Universe Boss is definitely out of cricket for long and has not been at his best for sometime but Chris Gayle still can change any game on his day. Five loss out of six games- Gayle’s failure in one game would not much hurt.